After successfully collaborating on the multi-cultural event “¿Qué Pasa, APASA?” the Asian American Pacific Student Association and the Latino Student Assembly hope to encourage cultural groups around campus to collaborate.
¿Qué Pasa, APASA? was held last week to bring two cultural communities together to share knowledge about their culture, according to Steven Almazan, incoming executive director of LSA.
This event was created to address the lack of collaboration between the two groups. Though LSA has worked with organizations such as the Black Student Union and APASA on an internal basis before, they had never worked with APASA to put on events to highlight both the different cultures and their commonality.
Carlos Hernandez, director of LSA, said the event was to help bridge the gaps between the two groups so people can find common ground.
“People don’t realize that our cultures have a lot in common with each other in terms of values and traditions,” Hernandez said. “It’s actually interesting to me that there wasn’t more collaboration until now.”
Amy Huang, incoming executive director of APASA, said she wants future events to highlight similarities.
“There are more similarities between the Latino and Asian Pacific American communities than differences, such as issues of immigration,” Huang said. “And I would like our events to highlight those similarities so that our communities may build multicultural coalitions to achieve our common goals.”
Beverly Chiang, vice president of Sigma Phi Omega, an Asian sorority on campus, said she is excited about the possibilities of these types of collaborations and the impact this collaboration could have on the rest of the school.
“There’s not that much of a difference between all of us. We are all USC students, a part of this Trojan family regardless of our culture and background,” Chiang said. “It’s really encouraging to be at a school where we constantly try to embrace these diversities among the students instead of suppressing it.”
Hernandez deemed the event a success because other communities might see the event as encouragement to work with other cultural groups.
“By having these avenues for them to connect, we are able to facilitate the future and that’s why I think it was so successful,” Hernandez said.
Huang said she has high hopes for next year.
“I am hoping that ¿Qué Pasa, APASA? is only just the beginning to a more collaborative relationship between LSA and APASA,” Huang said. “In addition to the social and cultural aspects of this event, we hope to program more educational and advocacy-based events next year.”
Hernandez also hopes other groups would see the event as an example of how beneficial the sharing of knowledge can be.
“It sets an amazing example for other communities on campus to realize that in addition to them that there are other organizations on campus doing amazing things,” Hernandez said. “They are doing great things, we are doing great things, and lets do it together.”
Hernandez said he also believes collaboration among student groups can only have positive effects.
“We are all students, trying to do great things and we all cared about our communities,” Hernandez said. “We can do something great with these common goals. As simple as it sounds, it just creates more friends.”